Microsoft Windows, as well as other software and devices, are frequently ‘patched’ through updates to keep the software more secure. Remember to update browsers such as Chrome or Firefox as well as browser plug-ins such as Java.
Avoid Phishing Scams
Emails can be made to look like they are from official sites or known contacts. Always look at the actual sender’s email address and not just the display name for the email.
Backup your data. (Always!)
Your data is frequently more valuable than the computer where you are using it. Whether it is critical financial data or personal family pictures, permanently losing it can often be more devastating than a dead computer. Protecting the data extends to cell phones, which often have irreplaceable images.
Use encryption for sensitive data.
Preventing access to your most critical high-level data (Credit Card information, banking information, social security numbers, etc.) can be done through data encryption with secure passwords.
Practice good password management.
Remembering multiple complex passwords can be nearly impossible, which leads to using the same passwords for multiple sites or using easy to guess passwords. A password management program can help enable the use of unique strong passwords for every site.
When surfing the web, pay attention to the websites displayed in a web search. Look at the actual URL of the website and not just the displayed name to make sure you are connecting to your desired site. Updating device drivers or locating installation software for a printer or other device can yield questionable results from a web search. Use the actually manufacturer’s website.